Canned goods have been a staple of the American kitchen since the early 19th Century with the introduction of things like canned oysters, meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Since then, canned foods have revolutionized the way people shop, cook, and eat, so it should come as no surprise that essentially anything comes in a can these days. But just because you can put something in a can doesn’t necessarily mean that you should put it in a can. Canned goods are often filled to the brim with preservatives and other chemicals that you can’t spell, pronounce, or even being to understand.
Here are just a few of the unhealthiest canned goods you can purchase at your local grocery store.
1. Del Monte Sliced Peaches
You would think that a can of peaches wouldn’t be such an egregious offender, but yet, here we are with Del Monte sliced peaches. But what could be so unhealthy about a can of peaches? Funny you should ask.
Those peaches, which were at one point a healthy snack, have spent the last who knows how long soaking in a can filled to the brim with high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and sugar. Each 1/2 cup serving (the suggested serving size) contains 21 grams of sugar. But honestly, what kind of person only eats the recommended serving size when they open a can of peaches?
2. Campbell’s Home Style New England Clam Chowder LIGHT
Don’t let the “LIGHT” in Campbell’s Home Style New England Clam Chowder LIGHT full you, this stuff isn’t really that healthy for you. The 100 calories (per 1 cup serving) isn’t anything to get too worried about, but each serving contains 790 mg of sodium, which is 33% of the suggested daily amount.
In addition to high amounts of sodium, Campbell’s soup, like pretty much every other can of soup, contains a laundry list of ingredients like artificial whiteners, thickening agents, flavor enhancers, and modified fats.
It might take a little more time, but it is probably best to make soup on your own. Your body will thank you.
3. Hunt’s Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce
Let’s be real here… no one is just eating sloppy joe sauce on its own and no one is using the recommended 1/4 cup serving size when they mix Hunt’s Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce in with their ground beef (that also contains a lot of fat). Each serving of the Bold sloppy joe sauce contains70 calories, which isn’t all that bad, but it also contains 490 mg of sodium and 13 grams of sugar (pretty much just high fructose corn syrup.
I know a lot of people love sloppy joes (myself included), but we should just know what we’re getting ourselves into. But we’re going to continue to eat our salty, sugary, savory sloppy joes, because that’s just who we are.
4. Chef Boyardee JUMBO Spaghetti & Meatballs
Chef Boyardee JUMBO Spaghetti & Meatballs, while not the worst offender on this list, is just terrible. From concept to execution, this can of misery should have never left the drawing board.
With a whopping 280 calories per 1 cup serving (but who eats only a cup of canned spaghetti and meatballs?), 700 mg of sodium, and 8 grams of sugars (high fructose corn syrup; we’re starting to see a pattern), Chef Boyardee’s spaghetti and meatballs is nothing but terrible for our bodies, as well as our psyches.
And why would you even want to eat the stuff? It doesn’t take that much time or effort to whip up a plate of spaghetti and meatballs the old fashioned way, so why settle for less?
5. Armour Corned Beef Hash
And here we have it, our fist heavy hitter of the bunch. Armour’s Corned Beef Hash has to be one of the unhealthiest canned goods you can buy at the grocery store. Per 1 cup serving, there are 444 calories, 840 mg of sodium, and 30 grams of saturated fat, 14 of which are saturated fats.
With ingredients like chopped ham, Virginia baked ham taste, chopped beef, dried beef, and treet lite, it’s no surprise that each can is a sloppy, fatty, salty mess.
The worst thing about this is that Armour’s offering isn’t even the worst offender on the list.
6. Wolf Brand Chili With Beans Authentic Texas Recipe
Wolf Brand Chili with Beans – Authentic Texas Recipe is anything but healthy. With 360 calories, 1,000 mg of sodium, 8 grams of saturated fat, and 50 mg of cholesterol in a single can, Wolf Brand’s chili is really something to take in… and avoid.
What’s almost as bad as the nutritional value (or lack thereof) is the idea of a pre-made, canned chili. You may think you are saving time and money by going with the canned chili opposed to making a pot of your own recipe, but is it really worth it? I say, no.
7. Campbell’s RavioliOs
Honestly, I didn’t know Campbell’s RavioliOs were even a thing until just recently, and after taking a quick glance at the nutrition information on the back of the can, I have to say, ignorance is bliss.
Each 1 cup serving contains 260 calories and 1,090 mg of sodium (that’s nearly 50% of your daily suggested amount. What’s more troubling is the fact that much like the Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs mentioned up above, not many people are going to eat just 1 cup of Campbell’s RavioliOs. If someone were to eat a full can of the stuff, they would take in 1,845 mg of sodium, which is 80% of your daily allotment. That’s just too much sodium to be healthy.
8. Dinty Moore Beef Stew
If you believe the label on the can, Dinty Moore Beef Stew contains no preservatives, but what about the 990 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving? And that’s not even mentioning the 200 calories and 30 mg of cholesterol per serving either.
I get it, canned beef stew isn’t the epitome of healthy, but to claim it has zero preservatives while still being filled to the brim with high levels of sodium is something wild. There’s so much sodium in this small can of beef stew I can feel it in my mouth as I write this. Can you taste the salt?
9. Hormel Chunky Chili With Beans
Hormel wasn’t going to let the Dinty Moore Beef Stew be its only offering of high-calorie, high-sodium canned goods. No, there’s also Hormel’s Chunky Chili with Beans, which has the same sodium level (990 mg per 1 cup serving), but also 260 calories. Add in 35 mg of cholesterol and you have yourself a recipe for discomfort.
Like the Wolf Brand Chili listed up above, there’s nothing redeemable about Hormel’s version of canned chili. Just cook up your own recipe if you want to eat a decent bowl of chili. It’s not hard, doesn’t take a lot of time, and you’ll have more than enough leftovers to get you through the week.
10. Libby’s Corned Beef Hash
And then there’s Libby’s Corned Beef Hash, which is the worst of the worst when it comes to nutritional information. Each 1 cup serving is packed with 420 calories (216 of which are from fat), 11 grams of saturated fat, 55 mg of cholesterol, and 1,230 mg of sodium.
If you look up the word “vile” in the dictionary, you’ll probably see a picture of Libby’s Corned Beef Hash. There’s nothing healthy, or appetizing about this garbage in a can.
After looking at 10 of the most disgusting and unhealthiest canned goods, I hope that everyone takes a step back and thinks before they haphazardly throw a can into their shopping cart on their next trip to the grocery store.
There are so many better options: fresh meats, produce, home-cooked meals. Why settle for a can of soup, stew, chili, or god awful corned beef hash that has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for who knows how long?